Coca Cola – Sugar syrup (liquid sugar) UV treatment

Applications: Food & Beverage


Coca Cola, Richlands, QLD


UV disinfection for sugar syrup

Project Background

Coca Cola is a major manufacturer of beverages including soft drinks, bottled water, sports drinks and fruit juices. Coca Cola in Richlands Queensland was installing a new production line which required Ultraviolet (UV) disinfection for the sugar syrup application. The UV system on the existing production line also required an upgrade.

Concentrated sugar syrups have a high osmotic pressure. This high pressure prevents micro-organisms from growing; however yeast and mould spores can survive and grow once the syrup is diluted. Microbial growth can cause discolouration, spoil the syrup and it increases risk of infection or illness upon consumption.

In this instance, pasteurisation of the product was not an option. The required duration of high temperature to ensure the required reduction was achieved would ruin the colour and flavour of the product.

The sugar syrup food and beverage requires a particular UV dose to deactivate the DNA of the spores. The sugar syrup manufacturing process has very stringent regulations around monitoring and safety; therefore the system must be effectively monitored to ensure a continuous treatment process.

Coca Cola specified that a 5 log reduction of bacillus bacteria was required.

UV Requirements

UVT of 35%
Peak flow rate of 20 m3/hr
Required UV dose of 150mJ/cm2 – for a 5 log reduction of bacillus bacteria

UV Guard’s Solution

3 x UVG MP SS-3.5 in parallel
1 x UVG MP-7.0

UV Guard has been a supplier of UV systems for Coca Colas facilities for several years. Three UVG MP SS-3.5 systems placed in parallel and a custom made UVG MP-7.0 were implemented in order to destroy the micro-organisms.

Like all sugar syrup UV disinfection systems, high intensity UV lamps combined with thin film food grade compliant chambers are required due to the low UV Transmittance associated with sugar syrups. As specified by Coca Cola, the systems needed to be able to generate a UV dose large enough to reduce bacillus bacteria by 5 logs (99.999%).

If you have a food and beverage water treatment enquiry, contact a UV Guard process engineer today.


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